Sunday, March 3, 2024

Bradford gears up for fifth annual Manufacturing Weeks

More than 30 businesses and hundreds of students across Bradford are gearing up to take part in the district’s fifth Bradford Manufacturing Weeks careers initiative.

The students will share experiences of a career in Bradford’s manufacturing sector, including pupils of Oastlers School in Bradford and Keighley who are working with Cleckheaton-based cosmetic and personal care manufacturer Orean.

Based on West 26 Industrial Estate in Cleckheaton and employer of a 238-strong local workforce, Orean creates skin and hair products for national and international beauty brands, specialising in first-to-market innovation, manufacture, filling, distribution and export.

“Roles here include marketing, accounting, logistics, chemistry and of course hands on manufacturing,” explains Orean’s Company Social and Responsibility Officer Katy Trewartha. “Our success has been built on the rich history of manufacturing in Yorkshire and a huge part of that is due to our local workforce, a growing number of which are school leavers and apprentices.

“Bradford Manufacturing Weeks is a fantastic way for us to meet the next generation of business leaders and ensure today’s students understand the range of fulfilling careers right here on their doorstep.”

Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks (3-14 October) introduces students to a career in manufacturing through work placements, manufacturer tours, work experience and skills events to support students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Robert Fairbairn, Head of Centre at Oastlers’ Keighley site, said: “Thanks to Bradford Manufacturing Weeks we now have connections with a range of manufacturers across the district. We’re also entering the Bradford Manufacturing Weeks 2022 competition which asks schools to focus on creating something in line with the UN’s sustainability goals. We’re hoping our students’ entry will be so good, it’ll end up in permanent residence at Orean’s factory in Cleckheaton!”

The West and North Yorkshire Chamber’s Bradford Manufacturing Weeks initiative is delivered in partnership with Bradford-based school and career specialists The Opportunity Centre and is sponsored by Bradford Council, E3 Recruitment, the University of Bradford, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Naylor Wintersgill and LCF Law.

New for 2022 are specialist manufacturing site visits and events for pupils with special educational needs, alongside University of Bradford faculty tours and the popular “Women in Manufacturing” Q&A event and a mix of virtual and in person “Meet the Manufacturer” and “Meet the Apprentice” panel events. A Dragon’s Den-style competition themed “Tech for Good” is also aimed at encouraging students to solve a problem based around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Orean’s Katy Trewartha added: “Manufacturing in Yorkshire has a bright future and the talented students in our local schools add a real spark to our business. We’re supporting the Oastler learners with their “Tech for Good” competition entry and looking forward to welcoming students from Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College who are touring our factory and taking part in sensory product analysis workshops during the October fortnight.

“We are so grateful to Bradford Manufacturing Weeks for providing additional opportunities to introduce students to our business and helping us secure our future pipeline of talent.”

The Bradford Manufacturing Weeks “Tech for Good” competition is open to students in the Years 7-9, 10-13 and SEND categories. Deadline for entries is Friday October 14 and presentations to the judging “Dragons” will be held on November 17.

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